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January 4, 2006, Special Issue

Did You Know?

As many as 15 million Americans now subscribe to podcasts. [Source: PARADE magazine, November 20, 2005.] Translation: iPods® are not just for kids anymore. They're actually being used to transmit important, timely health care information!

AHRQ Launches New Audio and Video Media Tools

In 2005, AHRQ brought two new tools to the Agency's portfolio of real-time communications media: a continuing series of audio newscasts and two special videos featuring AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., and other medical experts.

Audio Newscasts Available When You Have Time to Listen

AHRQ launched an audio news service to help keep people informed of the Agency's latest health care research findings, news, and information. It's "Healthcare 411"—a regular audio newscast that features synopses of our latest findings and information on current health care topics. This innovative tool provides AHRQ researchers with an opportunity to be heard beyond the research community. The technology of these newscasts is often called "podcasting," which is a way of making radio-type broadcasts available on demand. So far, AHRQ has produced the following audio newscasts:

We are distributing these audio newscasts through iTunes® and Yahoo® Podcasts, as well as to other Web sites that provide health information to customers, patients, students, employees, and health care personnel. We also are using some of this audio for AHRQ-produced audio news releases distributed to radio stations across the country and for in-store audio networks that exist at stores such as Giant Food and Wal-Mart. However, you don't need an iPod® or other device to hear the newscast. If your computer has a sound card and speakers and can play MP3 audio files, you will be able to listen to the audio on your computer—according to your schedule, whenever you have 10 or 15 minutes to listen. If you want to receive all AHRQ newscasts automatically, you will need subscription software. The AHRQ subscription is free. Select to access AHRQ's Healthcare 411 for more details.

AHRQ Launches Patient Education Videos Through Healthology® Distribution Network

AHRQ worked with Healthology® to produce and distribute two videos to help patients be more active in their health care. The first video, launched in November, helps patients deal with the various physical and emotional aspects that can result from a medical diagnosis and is based on AHRQ's recently released publication, Next Steps After Your Diagnosis: Finding Information and Support. The video features AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.; Gregg S. Meyer, M.D., Medical Director, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization; and Robert Muscalus, D.O., Medical Director for Clinical Client Relationships, Highmark Blue Shield, PA. The second video, launched in December, offers tips for taking medicines safely and urges consumers to bring a bag or a list with all of their medicines to every medical appointment. The video features AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.; Gregg S. Meyer, M.D., Medical Director, Massachusetts General Physicians' Organization; David Bates, M.D., Chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital; and Christine Kovner, R.N., Ph.D., Professor at the College of Nursing, New York University. Both videos are being distributed to over 4,500 Web sites in the Healthology® network, including those for ABC News, Chicago Sun-Times, iVillage®, the American Diabetes Association, and many others.

If you are a new subscriber or would like to reference information in a previous issue, an archive of this newsletter can be found on AHRQ's Web site at

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

Current as of January 2006


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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